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Cosmos is an interesting project that calls itself “the Internet of blockchains”. Cosmos seeks to build a crypto ecosystem of independent parallel blockchains that can scale and interoperate with each other. This is already happening with the likes of Terra, and Osmosis all getting built using the Cosmos software development kit (SDK) and connecting via the Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol (IBC).

The Cosmos Network uses a proof of stake consensus mechanism that requires the ATOM cryptocurrency. The vision of Cosmos is to break the barriers between blockchains by allowing them to transact with each other by making it easy for developers to build apps that uses tokens from a variety of independent blockchains.

Fortunately you can simply buy Cosmos at many of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency exchanges.


  • Community owned and operated with commitment to open-source

  • Cosmos SDK simplifies app building process

  • IBC protocol allows easy connections between blockchains

  • Staking ATOM offers potentially high yields


  • Hasn’t generated as much hype as some of the major Layer-1 cryptos

  • Staked ATOM are locked for minimum three-week period

  • It’s unclear how important ATOM is to the IBC ecosystem

  • Total supply has yet to be hard capped

The Best Exchange for Buying Cosmos (ATOM)

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General Overview of ATOM

The people behind Cosmos plan to achieve their vision through a set of open-source tools. The Cosmos network is composed of three technologies. The Tendermint protocol which is responsible for governance, the Cosmos software development kit (SDK) which makes it easy to develop apps, and the Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) protocol. Cosmos is an open source community project created by All In Bits Inc.

Tendermint is the name of Cosmos’ consensus algorithm that packages the networking and consensus layers of a blockchain into one generic engine. It will allow developers to focus on their application development instead of the underlying blockchain protocol and save many of hours of time. In order to then make application development easier they combine Tendermint with the Cosmos software development kit, which is a generalized framework that simplifies the process of building blockchain applications. Once developers can quickly build custom blockchains they will be easily connected by the Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol.

Cosmos can scale and connect without blockchains in a way that Ethereum has not been able to yet. Over time other projects have begun to be interested in the Cosmos blockchain and are building on this chain. For example, Terra-Luna,, and Osmosis are currently the hottest projects on Cosmos but there are hundreds of different apps and blockchains (branded “zones) with billions of dollars in locked value.

Cosmos biggest competitor in this space is Polkadot (DOT), which offers hundreds of different parachains.

Above all else, the community behind Cosmos believe the future is multi-chain.

ATOM Ratings


Total Supply: 237,928,231 ATOM

Network Speed

Rating: High
Transactions Per Second: 10,000+ Tx/s. The Cosmos website claims that the blockchain is able to process thousands of transactions per second by publishing one block per second.


Rating: Medium
Reason: About 80% of the total supply is in circulation, with the rest of the supply being locked by the network. The Cosmos network also supports staking your tokens. Today, about 50% of the tokens are locked for staking purposes.

Developer Engagement

Rating: High
Reason: The Cosmos github is very active, achieving a score above 900 / 1000 according to the FCAS rating agency. Developers can contribute to Cosmos with a variety of popular programming languages, which makes the ecosystem easier to contribute to.


Rating: Medium-High
Reason:With each passing day, more exchanges are not just adding ATOM to the list of assets able to be traded on their platform, but also creating ways for you to stake ATOM directly on the exchange. This is very good for the liquidity of the asset.

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History of Cosmos

Cosmos was initially conceived by Tendermint creator Jae Kwon in 2014, and he was joined by Ethan Buchman in 2015. They created the Cosmos software development kit together in order to lower the barrier to entry for blockchain development and build a decentralized network of individuals blockchains able to communicate with each other. They are also the founders, and President and Vice-President, respectively, of the Interchain Foundation, a non-for-profit organization that aims to research, develop, and promote open, decentralized network technologies that will provide greater sovereignty, security, and sustainability to communities worldwide.

The Cosmos Initial Coin Offering was held on April 6, 2017, raising $17.3 million in Ethereum, Bitcoin and USD. About 75% of the available token supply was sold during the ICO, with 5 percent held for seed investors, and 10% each held by All In Bits and the Interchain Foundation. The Cosmos mainnet launched on March 14, 2019 to much success. However, an attack in the summer of 2019 exposed a vulnerability in the network, but this has since been fixed.

Cosmos completed its whitepaper roadmap on Feb. 18, 2021, with the launch of the inter-blockchain communication (IBC) and a host of other features.

How Do I Buy Cosmos?

Most people are going to want to buy Cosmos (technically ATOM) from a cryptocurrency exchange. There are many different kinds of crypto exchanges with some focusing on trading numerous forms of cryptocurrency while others act more like a brokerage, which simply gives people the ability to buy cryptocurrency with their fiat (such as USD or EUR).

Most legitimate cryptocurrency exchanges will require a significant amount of KYC (Know Your Customer) info from their userbase. Fortunately these days the process of KYC has been streamlined considerably and most users should be able to buy cryptocurrency relatively quickly. There are also peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchanges where you can buy crypto directly from other users.

Cosmos is available for purchase on a number of different cryptocurrency exchanges including the following:

How Does Cosmos Work?

The Cosmos software development kit makes it easy for new blockchain applications that can be connected across the Cosmos Network, but the two main ways Cosmos works are through Tendermint and Inter-Blockchain Communication protocols. Together they form the Cosmos Network.

Tendermint consists of two chief technical components: a blockchain consensus engine and a generic application interface. The consensus engine, called Tendermint Core, ensures that the same transactions are recorded on every machine in the same order. The application interface, called the Application Blockchain Interface (ABCI), enables the transactions to be processed in any programming language. Tendermint only handles the networking and consensus portions of the blockchain, meaning the application layer can define its own rules. This combination of components means that developers can quickly build individual, customized blockchains with different applications, and with their own set of governance rules and validator sets. These separately run blockchains are then compatible because of the Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol feature.

The Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol allows any blockchain running Tendermint, or any other fast finality blockchain engine, to transfer value or data to each other.

In the end, all kinds of blockchains can be linked across the Cosmos Network, creating an ecosystem.

What is the IBC?

To enable the vision of the Interchain, Cosmos developed the Inter Blockchain Communication Protocol (IBC). This tool does exactly what its name says; it allows different blockchains to communicate.

The IBC release was the final part in the development of the three major components of the Cosmos technology; the Tendermint Core, the Cosmos SDK, and the IBC.

To better understand IBC, think of how the Internet works. Specific protocol (TCP/IP) allows computers to communicate with centralized servers, thereby creating the Internet.

The IBC works similarly; only, it connects entire blockchain networks, as opposed to just a few mega servers. Hence it is arguable that the Interchain will be 1000x larger than the Internet. To use the IBC, you will need an Interchain account (such as a Cosmos wallet).

The best analogy for an interchain account is a letter. The letter is packed inside an envelope which is packed inside a box (the IBC module of zone A does this work). A delivery truck also called a relayer, transports the letter from zone A (blockchain 1) to zone B (blockchain 2). The IBC module of zone B will open the box and relay the envelope to the appropriate destination (receiving account).

Keplr Wallet: The Interchain Wallet

Keplr wallet is the first interchain wallet on Cosmos. It is a browser-based wallet similar to MetaMask for Ethereum or Phantom for Solana but with support for any IBC chain. It also has iOS and Google apps.

The interchain accounts are contained in a wallet, just like Ethereum addresses are contained in an Ethereum wallet.

You can immediately begin staking through the wallet to earn passive income and even manage tokens across different chains from just one wallet. You can also get even more security by connecting a Ledger hardware wallet to your Keplr account.

Keplr wallet supports over 16 chains, including Cosmos, Osmosis, Juno, Secret Network, Akash Network, Sentinel, Kava, Certik, and IrisNet, among many others. Keplr can be found on Google Playstore and IOS App store.

Staking Cosmos

Staking is a mechanism for securing networks. In return for securing the Cosmos Hub, users are rewarded with transaction fees and staking rewards.

Staking involves locking up crypto assets like ATOM to provide economic security for public blockchains. Users can get as high as 15% APY for their staked ATOM tokens. In short, if you stake 1000 ATOM, you earn 150 ATOM every year (12.5 a month). Rewards begin to generate immediately after the staking transaction is confirmed on-chain.

You can even stake different cryptos like Osmo or Juno to earn up to 80% APY!

There is no lock-up period, and users can claim rewards at any time using an IBC-supported wallet like Keplr. Keep in mind there is a 21-day cooldown period for un-staking your crypto, however.

To participate in staking, you will need to have ATOM tokens and a wallet and do the following:

  1. Go to the Keplr website and Install Keplr (extension) for Chrome; download it on your android phone or your iPhone.
  2. Open the extension after installing and create an account. Ensure that you secure your account by storing the seed phrase in a safe place offline.
  3. Deposit ATOM into your wallet using the Deposit button.
  4. Once your deposit goes through, click on stake to begin the staking process.
  5. Pick a validator with which to stake your crypto.
  6. Follow the subsequent instructions and confirm the transaction.

Interchain Security

As mentioned, staking will secure the network, not just the Cosmos Hub. Network validators (individuals or companies with a certain threshold of ATOM tokens, which is 1 ATOM) can choose to validate any chain in the Interchain using their ATOM delegation as collateral.

Cosmos is also a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), and hence, holding ATOM tokens gives users the ability to vote (i.e., have delegation) on the governance of the network. By securing any chain using their ATOM as collateral, Interchain Security is guaranteed.

Users are incentivized to secure other chains on the Interchain since there will be additional rewards. These chains are called child chains or baby blockchains, while Cosmos is the parent blockchain. The more the child-chains, the more the rewards.

What About Airdrops?

When launching a new blockchain, developers need users to kick-start their project and provide some liquidity. This is generally done through something called airdrops, where users of certain projects (Ethereum, MetaMask, Uniswap for instance) receive free drops of a brand-new cryptocurrency or token.

These airdrops are sometimes worth thousands of dollars so they can be incredibly valuable.

Cosmos is home to a large number of blockchains and apps so it has historically been a prime blockchain to receive airdrops.

How do you qualify for free airdrops? It depends on the product that is launching but generally it’s one or more of the following:

  • Stake ATOM (generally at least 5 but sometimes more)
  • Vote on governance proposals
  • Provide liquidity on DEXs like Osmosis
  • Use the upcoming app or blockchain

One note about staking to receive airdrops. In order to encourage decentralization you are not allowed to use largest validators if you want to receive airdrops. That means you can’t use any of top-10 validators or exchange-run validator pools (such as Kraken or Binance).

Some of the newer projects are also rewarding stakers of assets like Juno, Osmo and SCRT so it pays to follow the community and keep a small amount of multiple IBC-related crypos.

The Advantages

The main advantages of Cosmos are that through Tendermint and Inter-Blockchain Communication protocols it will be possible to create a network of connected blockchains.

This network will allow token, data, and asset exchanges between them. The Hubs that connect all these varying blockchains require validators staking ATOMs, and will earn ATOMs for staking, therefore the more connected the network becomes, the greater ability for passive income to be generated through staking.

The vision for Cosmos finally seems to be happening with IBC chains Terra-Luna,, Osmo and Juno achieving huge amounts of success. Expect NFT and gaming projects to come to Cosmos in the near future.

It helps that Cosmos has also nailed many of the fundamental aspects of a good crypto including fast and cheap transactions and a good UI.

If you believe in a multi-chain future than Cosmos is certainly a good place to start.

The Disadvantages

It should be noted that Cosmos is not Bitcoin. It’s not trying to be Bitcoin either.

It’s an important distinction because they represent two very different approaches to crypto. Bitcoin is the ultimate hard asset and probably the best store of value in crypto (although this is open to debate). There are only 21 million Bitcoin and that’s all there ever will be.

Meanwhile Cosmos doesn’t even have a hard cap to its supply at this point (there are roughly 286 million currently in circulation) and is focused on experimenting, building out its ecosystem and providing incentives to the community for securing the network.

Bitcoin is a single asset while Cosmos is hoping to be an entire ecosystem of different assets than can easily communicate with each other.

Finally the 21-day period to un-stake your crypto is one of the longer lock-up periods in crypto, which means you can’t really pull your funds out if the market is crashing. Of course that also probably helps stabilize the price of ATOM somewhat.

Cosmos Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, due to the fast finality nature of the Tendermint consensus algorithm, Cosmos is fast and can have a block time on the order of 1 second and handle up to thousands of transactions per second.

Cosmos is not shortened to ATOM but is the name Cosmos decided to give the token that runs their network, likely because the universe, or Cosmos, are made up of atoms.

If the project succeeds as it hopes to Cosmos could be a good investment. However we are offering no investment advice at CryptoVantage. Readers would be best to do their own due diligence or talk to an investment advisor to determine whether they would like to invest in Cosmos and if it is right for them.

Cosmos is billed as “the internet of blockchain” by themselves because it is there goal to create a network of blockchains that is connected as fluidly as the internet is.

No, it is not possible to mine Cosmos token ATOM. You can either purchase ATOM or earn more through staking your holding either as a validator or by delegating your stake to a validator. You then earn ATOM passively rather than mining it. There are staking services offered by various exchange such as KuCoin which will give you ATOM for holding it on their exchange.

No, because of the speed of the proof of stake Tendermint algorithm the Cosmos Network uses much less energy to validate blocks than a proof of work system like Bitcoin or Ethereum.

Yes. It’s relatively easy to swap crypto that’s on the Inter-Communications Blockchain (IBC) protocol. Just go to something like Osmosis (Decentralized Exchange) and you can trade between almost all IBC cryptos.

No, the Atomic Wallet is not related Cosmos, however you can store Cosmos in the Atomic Cryptocurrency Wallet and staking of Cosmos through your Atomic Wallet is also available. For information on staking ATOMs with the Atomic Wallet please visit:

Cosmos is a proponent of a multi-chain future. That means that instead of one dominant chain like Bitcoin or Ethereum there could be hundreds of different chains. Cosmos wants to be the hub between the different chains (which it calls zones).

Polkadot is a somewhat similar project that offers something called parachains.

Both Cosmos and Polkadot are a bet on a multi-chain future.


Buy Cosmos on Coinbase right now

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